Tasting Notes: Toasted almond, dark chocolate, white grape & brown sugar
Growers Association: Mujeres Luchando Por Un Mejor Futuro, Todos Santos
(Women Fighting for a Better Future)
Elevation: 1700 - 2100 masl
Variety: Washed Catuai, Caturra, Bourbon
Import Partners: Onyx Coffee Importers
Mujeres Luchando Por Un Mejor Futuro
In the breathtaking highlands of the San Martin Cuchumatanes, a sisterhood of 276 courageous women coffee farmers has gathered to fight impossible odds. Meet Todos Santos, a collective known as ‘Mujeres luchando por un mejor futuro’, or Women Fighting for a Better Future.
In this remote part of Huehuetenango, many men have left their families to work in the US. The women are left to raise their families, manage their farms, bring in an income. A decade ago, the women of this community were tired of doing it all alone. Banding together, the community leaders gathered more women unto themselves and began talking solutions. Soon, they had gathered over 200 small producer women, and formed an association to benefit the whole community.
We visited this Spring, tasting their coffees with them and running brewing classes. We also partnered with our friends at the Huehuetenango based exporter K-Finos, working together to cover the expenses of an expert agronomist for consultation and continuing community education on varietal cultivation, nursery care, fertilization and soil health, and processing.
These producers are strong forces for change. They're passionate about education, and hungry for knowledge. They support each other with constant ideation, coffee cultivation and processing development, sharing of resources, and accountability. Individual smallholder farms are perched on mountainsides between 1700 and 2100 meters above sea level. The climate is cool and often cloudy. The long, temperate season slows cherry maturity, putting the bulk of the coffee harvest between mid February to early May.
A few stories from the women of the community:
Julia Cifuentes, originally from Quetzaltenango, is a first-generation coffee producer. She started by planting Caturra trees a couple decades ago. They worked tirelessly to develop their farm and thanks to good yields, Julia raised her children. Now, all three children live in the United States, but they are grateful to Julia for teaching them the value of hard work from a young age.
Adhani is also a first-generation coffee producer. She recently began working with her husband on their lot called 'Chulubaba'. After over 15 years of not working with coffee, they decided to return to the land and reinvigorate their farm.
Rebeca is a first-generation coffee producer as well. In addition to coffee, she also operates a greenhouse where she grows tomatoes, corn, and other crops which provide sustenance for her family. Her dedication to diversifying her agricultural activities ensures a more stable livelihood for her and her loved ones.
Our Ella Todos Santos Huehue captures the essence of the strength and resilience of these determined women, who are breaking barriers and cultivating exceptional coffees. Todos Santos is strong, wild and fragrant, like berries and dark dried apricots in the cup, with a big jammy body and dark chocolate foundation.